Anthony: Council hurts E’town liability, and my reputation: Borough attorney won’t ask to be reappointed at the end of the year

By Coleen Burnett

Eatontown — The topsy-turvy world of politics in Eatontown lost another public servant at the October 23 meeting. In a somewhat stunning turn of events, Borough Attorney Gene Anthony announced he will not accept another term in his office if it were offered to him — and giving his reasons why.

In short, Anthony felt he wasn’t getting any respect.

He said he was running into several major problems when dealing with some members of the council. For one, those members did not seem to want to follow his advice. “It opens you up to liability or loss of insurance… that’s something you want to avoid at all costs.”

Secondly, those who disagree with Anthony allegedly are circumventing his advice altogether — or going to a completely different lawyer.

All of that is a bit too much. “I will not seek re-appointment as the borough attorney,” he said. The borough attorney is a professional appointment, chosen by the mayor and council.

Anthony said that the constant challenges to his advice pose a danger to his reputation. “I’ve worked on this job for four years — served this borough council in other years, and in other towns in other years — and I will not put myself in that position further. I will continue to finish my contract through this year because I have a contractual obligation and I feel I have a moral obligation to the citizens of Eatontown whom I have served for 35 years.”

He said borough employees also worked very hard, with little fanfare or recognition for their extra efforts. Borough Clerk Julie Martin and her staff were singled out, as was the soon-to-be-departing Borough Administrator Cherron Rountree.

“Show all the staff the respect they deserve because they are working on a day-to-day basis to carry out your policies,” he concluded.

Anthony was the fourth major employee in Eatontown to announce his resignation that week. Rountree announced she was leaving to take the position of Borough Administrator in Holmdel, and Zoning Officer Erik Brachman, and Public Works Director Spencer Carpenter also said they would be leaving the borough.